The Best Record Store Is an Ice Cream Shop in California


If you would like to know where to get great, and awesomely priced records, read on.

My record collecting started back when I was about 13 or 14. I always went to some local record stores in the city next to mine. There were a lot of records by many awesome people, but at the time I was mainly looking for The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, or any of the other big 60’s – 70’s Rock bands. The bands I was looking for disappeared virtually as soon as I got there since there were many other people looking for the exact same records I was. When I did find the records of my favorite bands some were pretty pricey even for used, so I had to wait until birthdays or Christmas. Finally after getting a job I was able to really buy the ones I wanted, but I started to notice something.

In the past couple of years I have noticed that more and more vinyl records are being sold at stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Barnes and Nobles.  Now this is awesome, because they actually have the records I want, all new, but once again, they were all pricey. I went ahead and bought ones I really wanted. The prices never really seemed to drop over time, but there were more and more new records coming out. Little did I know, a trip to California would give me the best record store experience ever.

I have lived in Tennessee all of my life, but I do have family in Kentucky and Ohio so I get to go up there quite a bit, but I hardly get to go out West. So for my 22nd birthday, my awesome girlfriend booked a trip to Monterrey, California. A few days in we went to some record shops, one in particular I hated, it was stacked to the top with records, sounds nice… but they were all unorganized, and also it was dark and I busted my shin on some random piece of concrete sticking out of the wall. I thought California had failed me with records too, “But Kaleb, you just said this was your best record store experience ever?” Well yeah, it did suck, but a trip to the ice cream store helped.

One night we went out for some ice cream in Pacific Grove, California. Now we just thought it was just some basic ice cream shop, I mean the name of the store is “The Ice Cream Shoppe.” One step inside made me the happiest man ever. Everywhere you turned was some sort of Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, etc. merchandise. The walls were covered with band posters, record covers, more so Beatles than anything. It was heaven to me.

After we ordered our ice cream (which is super amazing by the way) one of the girls who worked there pointed out that they sold records, and boy oh boy they had the good stuff. My girlfriend and I started flipping through one of the many boxes, organized by name thank heavens, and basically found everyone we were interested in, they had multiple copies of some too. I ended up getting Sgt. Pepper’s, and Before The Flood for only $20 altogether! My girlfriend got Highway 61 Revisited, and The Wall for $15 altogether. I remember seeing The Wall for $45 at record stores in Tennessee, but we walked out with 4 records for only $35 all used in great condition, that has never happened before.



If you are a record collector or if it’s just your preferred method of listening to music, you need to visit The Ice Cream Shoppe if you ever happen to be in California. I would like to see more stores like that, so please let me know if there are any other stores as such that you know of!

–  Kaleb Cage



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